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Step 4: The most effective way to train on Glossika
Step 4: The most effective way to train on Glossika

What you should know about how Glossika works.

Tess Yang avatar
Written by Tess Yang
Updated this week

Now that you've learned all of Glossika's core tools, we'll talk about how they fit together and how to make the best use of them.

At its core, Glossika serves to solve a few learning problems: we figure out what level you're at, assign you learning content slightly more difficult than that, and then employ spaced repetition algorithms to ensure all that content gets committed to your memory.

Our algorithms will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. To make progress in your language, we ask that you:

  1. Log into Glossika each day

  2. First, review the items Glossika has scheduled for review

  3. After finishing reviews, learn new items

  4. Listen carefully and repeat after the native speaker!

  5. Use full-practice mode as much as possible

We feel these are best practices: if you follow them, you will succeed. However, after you've used Glossika for a bit and gotten a feel for how it works, we encourage you to adjust your usage of Glossika to accommodate your unique needs and goals.

Log into Glossika each day

Mastering a language involves more than just memorizing vocabulary words and sentence structures, as a total beginner, many of your problems will be solved with enough exposure to your target language.

To that end, consistency is key.

It's long been established that multiple short sessions are better for your memory than one long one, so rather than cramming all of your training into Saturday evenings, try to work in a session each day — even if you've only got time for one. (For reference, our data shows that an average session takes 8–10 minutes.)

Start each day with your reviews

We'll be blunt: Glossika will not work if you are not doing your reviews.

Everybody knows that review is important — indeed, we forget things at relatively predictable intervals — but most people don't spend enough time reviewing.

Simply put, you should be reviewing more sentences than you are learning each day. The exact amount of reviews you'll have to do will vary from day to day, but Glossika will figure all of that out for you. Simply click on "Review" and work through whatever the algorithm has prepared for you today.

(Note: To learn more about our algorithms or the review modes we offer, see the third article in this series.)

Do one "new" session per day

We recommend doing only one "new" session per day — at least for the first month you use Glossika.

This will likely feel slow, but don't be deceived: every new item you learn will turn into 15–20 reviews over the course of the coming year. It will take a bit of time for those reviews to catch up with you, so the amount of work Glossika schedules for you will consistently increase over your first few weeks. Eventually, you'll reach a point of equilibrium and the number of reviews you have to do each day will level off.

To avoid getting overwhelmed or burned out, we recommend increasing your commitment gradually. If you still feel like the workload is too light even after several weeks, increase your daily "new" session count from one to two. Your daily reviews will increase proportionally. If that's still too light, gradually work up to 3 daily "new" sessions, then four, five, and so on.

Stop adding new items once you reach a point where you begin failing to complete your review + new items more than once or twice per week. For your current time commitment to Glossika, this is the limit of your productivity.

Listen carefully and repeat after the native speaker

In training sessions, you’ll hear your base (native) language first. Next, you'll hear your target language. We refer to this A --> B succession as a "sentence pair". In a typical "new" session you'll do 5 repetitions of each of 5 sentence pairs for a total of 25 reps; in a typical "review" session you'll do a single repetition of 25 different sentence pairs.

During these sessions, you should:

  • Listen to the target language carefully — where does the native speaker's voice rise and fall? What is the rhythm of their words? Which sounds do or don't get connected?

  • Repeat back what you hear as closely as possible, focusing on pronunciation, flow, and tone.

  • Don't stress too much. It’s okay if all you can do is mumble not-quite-perfectly along right now. You're going to see all of these sentences multiple times — the more mumbling you do, the better you’ll get. Before long the sentences will be rolling right off your tongue even without a recording to listen to.

(Note: To learn how to personalize your training sessions, see the second article in this series.)

For now, use full-practice mode as much as possible

Glossika currently offers two different learning modes — full-practice and listening-only. For beginners, we recommend using full-practice mode as much as possible. This mode was designed to ensure that you actively engage with Glossika's content. We believe that passive listening (treating audio merely as background static; not particularly understood and mostly ignored) is largely a waste of time.

As you improve your language and/or supplement your learning with other resources, you may find that a different routine than the one we've described above works best for you. That's great! We encourage you to take command of your own learning.

  • If you're working through a textbook, maybe you want to go through the sentences a little slower, to analyze the grammatical structures you've been learning

  • If you read a ton and thus get a lot of exposure to your target language, you might prefer to use Glossika specifically as a tool for listening comprehension

  • If you live in-country or have regular opportunities to use your target language, perhaps you'll use Glossika more as a supplement that simply refreshes your memory and drills you on the "proper" way of expressing a variety of thoughts

  • If you spend a lot of time on the go, the listening-only mode might be especially valuable to you: instead of listening to music or watching YouTube, you can transform your commutes into learning opportunities

Whatever you ultimately end up doing, just be sure to know why you're doing it like that. If you aren't sure what to do, then fall back on these best practices.

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